Marketing manager of Sheffield Sustainable Kitchens Zoe Hepworth explains how sustainability is at the core of its business and this “forever” kitchen.
Sheffield Sustainable Kitchens designs and fits sustainable kitchens and bathrooms, using high quality and eco-friendly raw materials, whether high recycled content, reclaimed or sustainably sourced.
It recently completed a “forever kitchen” for retired professionals, who had bought their dream home shortly before the COVID outbreak.
Settling in a 17th century Leicestershire house, they wanted a sustainable and contemporary kitchen-diner in their new architect-designed extension.
Its clients wanted a high quality, sustainable and modern kitchen that was built to last, befitting of their forever home. The kitchen had to function well as well as look stunning.
The brief was to create a fabulous kitchen-diner for hosting and entertaining, with the kitchen “stage” being the focal point in the new extended space.
The kitchen is sustainable right from its core – as all the kitchen cabinets carcasses are made from a special eco board.
All standard cabinets at Sheffield Sustainable Kitchens are made from a board produced from timber that is 100% recycled, so no tree is felled in its production.
The board is also melamine-faced, which makes it easier to clean and maintain for their clients.
All its core cabinets are solid and built to last, with an 18mm solid back panel. They don’t come flat packed but are glued and dowelled and set straight in a press for reinforcement.
They are made to be long-lasting and form the basis of the kitchen, with the rest of the project built around them.
Durability is key for a sustainable kitchen, particularly for a “forever” home.
It features Runda cabinet doors, which form part of the company’s sustainable range, designed inhouse and manufactured locally.
They are made to order, so are low mileage and low wastage, boasting cutout handles are in keeping with the minimalist aesthetic.
A project the company completed last year for Channel 4’s Ugly House to Lovely House with George Clarke also used these minimal doors in its design.
Minimalism and functionality are key features of this design, which centres around a kitchen island, topped with a Quartz IQ worktop.
The external side has a specific drinks area for entertaining, which includes a wine fridge and a mixers fridge, for easy access from the social-living side of the room.
The Neff induction hob and downdraft extractor were also selected for their functionality and energy efficiency, as well as their clean lines, and a Quooker boiling water tap eliminated the need for a kettle.
Alongside two integrated larders, the bespoke designed kitchen also includes the detail of a made-to-measure open shelving unit for recipe books, made from locally sourced oak.
According to the retailer, sourcing timber locally is even more sustainable than FSC and PEFC certified timber.
Not only does this keep the product mileage and carbon footprint low, but also supports the local economy.
Using local wood, Sheffield Sustainable Kitchens knows where it comes from and why it was felled, and claims it gives a greater degree of traceability than certifications such as FSC.
In fact, many of the company’s living spaces have a backstory, whether it’s oak cabinet doors that were originally railway wagons, shelving with a previous life as a school lab bench (including graffiti) or worktops made from recycled glass.
And the company’s aftercare service has been created to ensure the longevity of the product, further adding to its sustainable credentials, and has been recognised by Houzz, winning its Customer Service Award in 2020 and 2021.
But the kbb retailer’s approach to sustainability extends further than designing and creating living spaces.
Its business practices ensure socially responsible supply chains and support of the local economy, championing independents and other sustainable businesses, keeping money local and transport miles low.
In fact Sheffield Sustainable Kitchen uses green electricity with more than 80% of its fleet electric vehicles, banks ethically and recycles wherever possible.
Such has been the success of this kbb retail business, with its focus on sustainability, it won the award for Excellence in Corporate, Social and Environmental Responsibility at Sheffield Chamber of Commerce Business Awards 2018 and was a finalist in the Yorkshire Post Excellence in Business Awards 2019 and 2020.